The Tour of California has been put on hiatus for 2020, the race’s organisers announced on Tuesday. The race had become the premiere UCI race in North America since its inception in 2006.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but the business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago,” Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports said.
“While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race. This new reality has forced us to re-evaluate our options, and we are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021.”
The Tour of California originally took place in February but after four years the race moved to May. Although the event clashed with the Giro d’Italia it still managed to pull in strong fields with Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Egan Bernal and Peter Sagan all taking part.
Despite the involvement of Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) from 2009 onwards the Tour of California seemingly struggled with the economic strains within professional cycling.
“I would like to sincerely thank the teams, the cyclists, sponsors, volunteers, elected officials, host cities, and all of the fans that helped make the Amgen Tour of California ‘America’s Greatest Race,’ Klein said.
“Most of all, I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of my team who have tirelessly worked alongside me, each and every year, to develop the renowned event. I also would like to thank our governing body, USA Cycling, UCI and Amaury Sport Organisation for their continued support.”
Bob Stapleton, the Chairman of USA Cycling, and who used to run a team that competed in the race, praised the organisers of the Tour of California for their efforts and offered his support.
“On behalf of USA Cycling, I would like to thank AEG, Kristin and her team for providing an outstanding showcase for the sport in America and for our American Athletes. We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021.”